Our Garden For Summer

Our Raised Bed Garden for summer. Easy and simple garden plan for summer. See more on The Fresh Exchange

This last week we have been organizing our life and packing away all winter items in preparation to spend the summer in downtown Traverse City. Before we left though, I wanted to put in a garden that our friends who we are switching homes with would enjoy this summer and we could enjoy this fall when we come back. A garden is important to me. After 3 years without one while in Raleigh, it has felt like coming home to put one together. My knowledge and skills are rusty and I am working on getting back into the rhythm of it since we wouldn’t be here long I kept things small. I worked off of the garden plan I put together this spring. Though our garden is a little more minimal and simple, I love it and am so excited to see it come to life throughout this summer.

Our Raised Bed Garden for summer. Easy and simple garden plan for summer. See more on The Fresh Exchange

Our Raised Bed Garden for summer. Easy and simple garden plan for summer. See more on The Fresh Exchange

A few weeks back we made a Saturday out of building our beds. We went and got wood and used 4×12 boards to create the beds with brackets at the corners to hold them together. It was simple and meant to be that way because our time with these was limited. We wanted it to be very simple. We then tilled the ground with a tiller and sunk the beds in to help save on the cost of the dirt since the ground already had great soil. It saved a ton of money, thanks to our neighbor on his suggestion and offering his tiller. I then spent a few afternoons doing shoveling and spreading of mulch around the beds to keep the grass from creeping in easily.

Our Raised Bed Garden for summer. Easy and simple garden plan for summer. See more on The Fresh Exchange

Our Raised Bed Garden for summer. Easy and simple garden plan for summer. See more on The Fresh Exchange

In complete honesty, I ended up having to buy plants even though I did seedlings. I learned the hard way it is bad to leave on a trip when you are growing seedlings, they need a lot of care and attention and two weeks is too long to leave them alone. Thankfully there are some wonderful local sources such as the Farmers Market to round up everything you need. So we spent about $30 and bought all we needed to fill the bed + we added in some items by seed as well such as spinach and lettuce. We got peppers, green beans, Sugar snap peas, tomatoes, melon, swiss chard, kale, and a collection of herbs. The perfect collection of basic needs in a garden. None of veggies at all very complicated.

Our Raised Bed Garden for summer. Easy and simple garden plan for summer. See more on The Fresh Exchange

Our Raised Bed Garden for summer. Easy and simple garden plan for summer. See more on The Fresh Exchange

Our Raised Bed Garden for summer. Easy and simple garden plan for summer. See more on The Fresh Exchange

Then this last weekend, we put in the trellis for our sugar snap peas. There are so many different ways you can do this, but I really wanted to give this style a go. I have some ideas at our house for doing some trellis systems but thought it would be fun to use this as a fun experiment. It isn’t perfect or pretty, but it works and is cheap. All you do is nail in two posts and then two shorter ones on top and bottom. I then just wrapped twine and coaxed the peas toward the strings. It is working so far and I think it kind of looks cool as well.

Our Raised Bed Garden for summer. Easy and simple garden plan for summer. See more on The Fresh Exchange

Our Raised Bed Garden for summer. Easy and simple garden plan for summer. See more on The Fresh Exchange

Before Saturday we are placing in the stands for the tomatoes so they have the support they need as they begin to produce fruit. After that, we will come out from time and time and check in on things, grab our mail, and maybe even enjoy the beach down the road. As we approach late summer, I will take out the sugar snaps and plant some beets and a late crop of kale that we can enjoy in late fall before the big frosts.

Our Raised Bed Garden for summer. Easy and simple garden plan for summer. See more on The Fresh Exchange

Our Raised Bed Garden for summer. Easy and simple garden plan for summer. See more on The Fresh Exchange

While I have been out here working on this garden, Hayes climbing all over the mulch, getting dirty, and thinking of what life will be like in the coming years, I have realized just how important the garden is to me. I feel the most whole gardening and tending to the dirt. It feels like home. Though I do not have deep knowledge or much more than the basics I do know I love doing this and it is where I feel like myself. When things like that are felt they need to be noted. Beginning and ending each day wandering amongst a garden is how I want to live my days and for me it is essential to a well lived life.

Our Raised Bed Garden for summer. Easy and simple garden plan for summer. See more on The Fresh Exchange

Our Raised Bed Garden for summer. Easy and simple garden plan for summer. See more on The Fresh Exchange

Though I won’t be spending every night out here this summer weeding or gathering what is fresh for our dinner that night, what I do love is that our friends will reap the benefits of my work. I know they will enjoy it and come fall so will we. If there is anything I have learned in life, hard work is worth it and a garden is a wonderful place to be reminded of that.

Have you started your garden? How is it going? How big is it? What did you plant?

Leave a comment

  1. Thanks for the inspiration! I love how your garden turned out, and hope to use these pretty visuals as motivation to get our own garden started. I’ve never tried gardening before, but now feels like the right time to give it a go. P.S. I love how the trellises look!

  2. How are you planning to keep critters out of Your garden? We have tried to grow a garden for many years but have given up due to the destruction from deer and rabbits.we’ve used everything under the sun to deter the animals, b ut havent found anything that will work for us!so frustrating!

    1. SO depending on the buddies you have that are foraging around, I know some citrus will naturally deter rabbuts, but you may just have invest in some serious fencing. I would suggest building a chicken wire fence over and around the area you are gardening such as this: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/531917405966407462/

      It is an investment, but doing a little every year may be the answer. I know a lot of people around here build fences like this to keep deer out and so they don’t have to put things on their plants that are harmful to them and the environment.

      1. Love the fence house! We have tried fencing, but due to our Homeowners’ association we are not allowed to construct anything like this! We put up plastic fencing that was very lightweight and about 4 feet tall, which helped some. Our tomatoes were so prolific that they grew taller than the fence, hence the deer nibbling away and having themselves quite the salad! I think we will resign ourselves to growing in containers that we put on our second story deck. Maybe you can do a post on container gardening in the future? Have fun with your garden!

  3. I completely agree! I absolutely love being in the garden. I get so much satisfaction watching my plants grow. It never gets old checking in on them daily. I feel especially proud this year because I started from seeds I saved from actual produce and stored through winter (I too have very little knowledge when it comes to gardening-more of an I’ll make it happen attitude). I was thrilled to see them sprouting up and I delight in their growth every day. It’s interesting to me to notice the parallels As I approach motherhood at this same time and find myself comparing my nurturing skills in the garden to the ones I’ve been learning and getting closer to while growing and nurturing this baby inside of me-soon to be outside of me. Of course my garden is on a much smaller scale but I would hope that the care I put into it would be some indication of the care I’ll be putting into this next chapter.

  4. This makes me super excited for getting back home from Paris – I got garden beds for my birthday and I’m so looking forward to setting them up, and planting a veggie garden out back. Have you been having much luck with lettuce/leafy greens, if you’ve planted them? I can’t wait to get in and experiment with different plants. Looking forward to seeing how yours go!